Posted: 9/26/2009


       For a team only formed in 2002 FC Wacker Innsbruck  the green and black are not doing too bad. The old club FC Tirol Innsbruck went bankrupt like many other Austrian clubs chasing too few sponsors and fans. 

      They took over a small club and rapidly went all the way to the Austrian Bundesliga  before coming 10th and last in 2008 and being relegated to the second tier., ERSTE LIGA. Meanwhile their new impressive TIVOLI STADION rose and was a host stadium for the 2008 UEFA Championships held in Austria and Switzerland. It has now been 'downsized' to 30,000 but that is far too large.  I went to their home match vs FC Dornbirn on Friday night and there were only 3,500 fans including 24  in one tiny band of brothers who had the whole the whole of the Sud Tribune to themselves.. 

      Earlier in the day I had used my Rail Europe pass and spent a pleasant hour in charming St.Johann in Tirol ,  which happened to be market day. 500,000 bed nights a year and lots of tourists for skiing and sunning between the Wilder Kaiser(Mad King) Mountain and the Kitzbühler Horn. Previously both silver and copper had been mined in the area.

      Tivolistadion  is in spectacular setting as I took the 5 minute ride from Innsbruck Hbf and is surrounded by the Tirolean Alps and on the south side the majestic Olympic ski jump and the autostrade in the sky over the Brennar Pass to Italy, 20 minutes away. Innsbruck has twice hosted the Winter Olympic Games.   Green Black Danube: Nordpol Innsbruck, were two of the giant signs put up by fans who waved huge flags and chanted throughout the match.

      As you history buffs know, the Turks tried to take Vienna by siege half a millenium ago, in 1529 and failed, leaving behind huge quantities of fine flour which the Viennese made into crescent shaped pastry(croissants) to celebrate victory over the Ottoman Empire and Islam. In Innsbruck on Friday there were three small Turks on the Dornbirn team, Rifat, Serkan and Harun, and they couldn't take Innsbruck., near where Hannibal crossed the Alps 200 BC..  7-0 was the final score in a one sided match. 'Remember History-Create Resistance' said the giant banner put up by the Nordtribune fans which was an all standing tribune..

      Meanwhile in the press box on the West Tribune I mixed with the Sky Box members and was given a wrisband which entitled me to mounds of food and unlimited wine, champagne, beer, coffee and soft drinks to wash down the schnitzels, sausages, salads, pastas and desserts. What a way to celebrate a stunning victory.